A Sweet Ending

Stuffed Cougar Chocolate ShortbreadFor a dessert to end 2018, I found a recipe with just eight ingredients, all of them pantry staples: butter, two kinds of sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, chocolate, and nuts. The shortbread base with melted chocolate and nuts on top looks good and tastes appropriately decadent for a New Year’s party. The recipe comes from a classic Richmond cookbook, The Stuffed Cougar (William Byrd Press, 1973). A blog reader recently asked about the book, which is still on my shelf. It was published by Collegiate, a prep school that I only once visited because I attended public school. In an old-fashioned touch, credit for each recipe goes to Mrs. Husband’s Name. This one comes from Mrs. N.B. Woodard, Jr. (Barbara). I’ve kept the book all these years because the recipes all work well – and where else would I find Pink Party Punch and Broiled Crab Rounds?

In the chocolate recipe, I substituted pecans for almonds because that’s what I had in my pantry. The size of chocolate bars has also shrunk over the years, so I used two 3.5 ounce bars of semisweet chocolate. Happy New Year! Let the diets begin another time.

Stuffed Cougar Chocolate-Nut Bars (1973)
Makes 3 dozen

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
9 ounces chocolate candy bar (Hershey) [I used 7 ounces of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate]
1/2 cup slivered almonds [I used chopped pecans]

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and flour.
  2. Spread into a 13x9x2 inch pan [I buttered mine first]; the batter spreads thin.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. Bake up the chocolate and put on top immediately after removing the pan from the oven (it will melt). [I used a knife to help spread the chocolate evenly].
  5. Mash the almonds into the chocolate. [I sprinkled the nuts and lightly pressed them in].
  6. Cool and cut into bars. [I used a metal spatula to pry loose the bars].



About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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4 Responses to A Sweet Ending

  1. Bernice says:

    Looks really good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. greg says:

    Looks delicious (as usual)! A sweet way to finish out the year (and WOW…what a year it’s been for you)! Thanks for all the inspiration and great reading throughout the year! Looking forward to following the further adventures of your new book and what delicious temptation is coming from your kitchen next! Happy New Year to you and your family and wishes for all the health, happiness, and continued success in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheryl says:

    mmm. . . these bars look wonderful. I like how the cookbook editors used the traditional way of identifying women (Mrs. husband’s name) while recognizing that times were changing by putting the woman’s first name in parentheses.


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